I was looking up some figures on benefit expenditure, for a paper I’m giving in a few days, when I came across this little graph from a parliamentary briefing.
The figures in the bottom half are available in an HMRC paper published last June. According to Table 5, HMRC made mistakes in the claimant’s favour in 20,000 cases, but it didn’t cost the taxpayer anything; and they made mistakes in their favour in 30,000 cases, saving £10m or about £330 a throw. This is an remarkable record – an incredible achievement, one might say. One wonders why they even bother with official error regulations when they hardly ever get anything wrong.
Further note, October 2015: While I was trawling through the links on the blog (an unrewarding chore) I found an updated version of the HMRC paper published in June 2015, and I have altered the link to fit the new version. This still claims that mistakes in the claimants favour cost nothing, but the estimate of £10m in HMRC’s favour is now to be divided between 90,000 people rather than 30,000.